Wood in Ancient Egypt was a scarce product, as you can imagine in a land where trees are extremely limited. There are no forested areas in Egypt today, but there were some sporadic areas of vegetation in antiquity. So they made use of what they had.

If a building was made of wood and it was being demolished, the wood was stripped out and recycled for use elsewhere. Ancient Egypt’s climate was so arid, any wooden artefact or structure found today has been preserved extremely well. No other ancient culture has wooden artefacts that are preserved as beautifully and intact as Ancient Egyptian.

Take this splendid wooden funerary mask for example. It dates back to around 1400-1300 BC. Apart from some impact damage, this mask looks as though it was crafted yesterday. It has been chiselled, shaped and polished to a perfect finish. The blue and white inlaid eyes give the face a divine appearance. I wonder who created this mask?

I had the pleasure of seeing this mask up close. It rests at The Louvre.

When you look at it. It looks straight back.